Promoting Partnerships through Community Engagement
College of Nursing
Health professionals need skill development to prepare them to engage with diverse persons and populations in communities to reduce health inequities. The design of this module, specific for an inter-professional audience, will promote attainment of community engagement and social justice practices that will prepare UNMC learners uniformly for quality partnership work, during their education and in their future careers. Upon completion, participants will value what productive partnerships can garner for both themselves and the community as a whole.
This e-module allows students to garner a better understanding of what productive engagement with community members entails. Students can then be a champion for reducing health inequities and more profoundly work with people throughout the community. This module showcases current UNMC students, faculty, staff and community members who are engaged in community health efforts and showcases how they serve as collaborative partners. The module is succinct and applicable to all health care professional roles. It allows for asynchronous access, or can be utilized in a group/classroom setting. It allows the participants to connect with people and gain valuable insight to better partner with community members as a health care provider. It enables the participants to see health care from a different perspective; other than the traditional model. The module cultivates critical thinking about the community as a population and what can be done outside of office walls. Participants garner awareness of social justice and the community as a whole.
This module contains a personal cultural awareness assessment to determine current cultural humility. It also includes an online, interactive game “Spent” forcing the participant to make pivotal decisions regarding basic needs, housing and health care on a limited budget. In this game, you accept the challenge to test your ability to make it through a month on a limited budget; forcing you to think about how you would make these decisions when faced with the challenges of life. Several reflection tools are also utilized to echo how this content will be utilized by participants through their education and as future health care providers. The module also includes a community assessment tool, a case study and an example of a successful community engagement project. Participants of the module can ascertain this information from other students, faculty, staff and members of the community that are benefiting from these collaborations.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (2011) defines community engagement as “the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities, for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”
Community development work begins on a porch and not in a conference room. Historically, many decisions for vulnerable persons are made for them and not by them. A positive partnership empowers community members so that change can be made together. As representatives in academia it becomes our duty to promote health equity and social justice through partnerships between communities and academic institutions.
Brown, Sara E., "Promoting Partnerships through Community Engagement" (2014). Elearning Modules. Paper 6.